Letters to the Editor

Mort Merriss: Hanson missed mark on dead trees

Re “Dead trees are no threat” (Page 3B, July 6): The July 6 article "Dead tress are no threat" by research ecologist Chad Hanson was interesting, but it did catch my eye when he criticized the logging industry and the AG department solely for making money and having a political agenda, so I had to look a bit deeper.

I'm not a logger, forestry professional, nor do I have a degree in the environmental sciences.

Turns out, according to the Nature Conservancy, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere at a rate of about 6,000 pounds per cord, whether it is burned or rots on the forest floor.

When harvested and removed, that carbon in the logs remains sequestered for the life of the wood product. Of course, there is some offset from energy use like diesel to harvest, transport, and mill, but that comes at a relatively small price of 22 pounds carbon dioxide per gallon, and I would guess it takes only a few gallons to process each log. So the math (6,000 pounds versus 44 pounds carbon dioxide emmisions) supports getting these dead trees out. That doesn't even include the positive economic impact from jobs in the forested regions.

Mort Merriss, Arnold